MADISON HEIGHTS, MI (WXYZ) — For the last three years, Eve Sandoval of Madison Heights has been raising and releasing butterflies in her backyard.
“It kinda turned into this hobby passion," she said. "I started raising black swallowtails and then I had a friend give me three monarchs, and that was it for me.”
Just last year, Sandoval raised and released around 160 monarchs.
“And I do that because the numbers are quite low and it helps to keep them in population,” Sandoval said.
According to a biological diversity study, Monarchs have been on a steady decline in the U.S. for the past two decades. That’s because many of their breeding habitats have been covered in herbicide sprays like weed killers.
That’s why Sandoval is making it her mission to make sure her yards are accessible to monarch butterflies.
Sandoval says Monarch butterflies love plants like milkweeds and cockscomb flowers.
“Butterflies will come from miles just to have the nectar in that plant."
And she's hoping other Michiganders will join in on her mission to save them.
“Once you raise monarchs you fall in love with them," Sandoval said. "They’re just majestic.”